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Star Trek: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
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Original soundtrack to the highly anticipated 2009 motion picture. From producer/director J.J. Abrams (Lost, Mission: Impossible: III, and Fringe) comes a new vision of the greatest space adventure of all time, Star Trek, featuring a young, new crew venturing boldly where no one has gone before. Starring Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Simon Pegg as Scotty, with Eric Bana, Winona Ryder and Leonard Nimoy. Michael Giacchino, who has served as J.J. Abrams' musical lieutenant on all his projects, follows the extraordinarily rich musical legacy of Alexander Courage, Jerry Goldsmith, and James Horner, as he boards the Enterprise for her maiden voyage.
Top Customer Reviews
I have been a fan of Trek and especially its scores / soundtracks from my early days in the 70s. Faithfully, I have purchased every soundtrack as it was released concurrently with each film. Even when Next Gen, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise fell into place, I sought the musical releases with anticipation. I have heard 'em all - many times.
Change is paradoxically the only constant in this universe (aside from death and taxes, of course, as the joke goes). Realizing and accepting change is the difficulty for most. Giaccino is change - writing a score for a "reboot" film for a multi-media empire that, arguably, falls short of only Star Wars for enduring legacy and legions of fans. He faced a dilemma: Glean from the past, or boldly venture into a new realm of musical cues and themes. He, most likely with the direction of Abrams, opted for the latter, which is a refreshing development on the Trek frontier.
I listened to this soundtrack many times before seeing the film, as I often do with major fantasty / sci-fi flicks (ie Star Wars). I like to interpret / imagine the story through the notes before I see the actual images. I at first didn't care for this music. It didn't have much linking it to the previous films, save the end credits. Upon further reflection, I now interpret this absence of the traditional Trek fanfare and cues as the "learning curve" for the crew to climactically "graduate" into the recognizable Trek we know where Kirk is finally Captain, with Spock & Bones at his side.Read more ›
The Nero/villains theme is almost juvenile and the lack of the original fanfare until the end credits shows a lack of respect for the great artists who came before. Where Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner's Trek scores were symphonic masterpieces, this one will soon be buried amongst the most forgettable film scores in history.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Is it Goldsmith's Star Trek? No.
Is it Horner's Star Trek? Absolutely not.
Michael Giacchino writes mostly TV and video game scores (a fact I don't hold against him at all, he's a fantastic composer), and this is evident in "Star Trek". Was the opportunity to score an epic, more "film-appropriate" score squandered on J.J. Abrams best music buddy?
Giacchino is hit or miss for me. Some of his work is good, some of it not so much. (I wonder when everyone screams about the "Lost" scores. What's the appeal?) "Star Trek" is in the "good" category, even if "good" usually means "Most of the score is ok save for one or two tracks on EVERY Giacchino CD that are outstanding". Speed Racer had "Grand ol' Prix" and "Reboot". MI:3 had "Bridge Battle". "The Incredibles" had... well, ok, that whole album was great, but it's Pixar.
This CD is mostly "good", with a few "outstanding" tracks, specifically "Enterprising Young Men" and "Nero Death Experience". These two are perfect examples of what happens when Giacchino tries to stir up the listener and does it well. He manages to hit emotional cues and tense action themes and he carries it just long enough to be satisfying but not overwhelming. Other tracks on the CD stand out as well, and there's actually quite a wide variety of themes in this film, but this leads me to what everyone will be arguing about...
Whose Star Trek is this?
Is it Goldsmith? Or Horner, or Courage or Rosenman or any number of composers who have lent their considerable talents trying to create an audible identity for one of the more long-lived science fiction series out there? Depending on what your tastes and who you grew up with, that's going to be a big argument.
What I do know though is this:
"To Boldly Go" and "End Credits" is the reason this CD should be bought. It's Star Trek, plain and simple. If there's one thing Giacchino can do, it's take a theme, scrub it down, rinse it off, dress it up and put it out there for the screams of adoring fans. He's just that good at it, and ending the album with these tracks is the perfect way to reintroduce the old but familiar Star Trek back into cinema.
One of things that stood out for me was the soundtrack. By the time the movie was done I've made a mental note that I just *had* to get the soundtrack. And so I did. I have been listening to it almost every day since I got it. This is a piece of art on its own.
When I first watched the movie, it was the beautiful yet sad theme that now seems to represent the U.S.S. Enterprise herself that set up the epic and tragic end of the U.S.S. Kelvin. Its simple melodic highs and lows represents past ages of sailing, even though ships fly in space rather than oceans in the film. The second track softens and breathes of life and new experiences... while the brass literally screams 'Boldly Go' in the arias that pass.
It may only be Academy Award nominated, but don't forget that Michael Giacchino also won Best Original Score for Up. Maybe that's why - because they could only enter one nomination. Regardless, this is a great soundtrack to listen to while reading a thrilling novel or while shoveling snow - you know it has to be done but it doesn't have to be a chore.
J.Delzer is the author of The Buccaneer of Nemaris. The Buccaneer of Nemaris
I can tell you straight up: this is not the same stuff in a fancy new package. Yes, there is a homage to the original Courage theme, but it is in the end credits. And there are echoes of both Goldsmith and Horners percussion-driven battle music as well. But overall this is a unique new 'sound' for the 'reboot' of Star Trek, and it works. Michael Giacchino creates music that goes with the slam-bang roller-coaster ride that is this movie, and he does a wonderful job. For soundtrack afficionados like me, it was refreshing to get a 'traditional' style soundtrack.
My fears were that with the 'reboot' we'd see a total redo of the soundscape- perhaps a McCreary-esque Battlestar Galactica style use of taiko drums and tons of ethnic instruments. Or perhaps a Hans Zimmer-esque electronic score. Thankfully, those fears were groundless. This is a traditional orchestral score- with minimal use of electronics and maximal use of the strings, brass, percussion and chorus. The new theme for the Enterprise/Kirk is muscular without being bombastic.
The film opens with a prelude- the story of Kirk's birth. Frantic battle-music covers the first part, and then there's a dreamily peaceful theme, "Labor of Love" that plays on top of the poignant remainder of the scene. It is a bit of musical cognitive dissonance that plays quite well. That leads in to the first 'sighting' of the main theme, signalled by a single note trumpet fanfare that leads into the main part of the film.
"Hella Bar Talk" sounds like a lushly romantic salute to John Barry's style of composition, and the title is a pun on Romantic composer Bela Bartok. In fact, the list of titles is full of delightful pun-tiffication, and is, in itself a fun puzzle to solve, if you're inclined to do so.
Standout tracks include "Enterprising Young Men", which plays under the shuttle trip to the brand-new Enterprise. The 'beauty shots' of the ship are well scored here, but not too long.
"Nero Sighted" gives us a theme more for Nero's nasty-looking ship Narada, than for Nero himself, who gets a nice brassy theme, complete with Apocalyptic Chorus towards the end.
Spock (and the Vulcans) are not left out- they are treated with a surprisingly emotional theme in "That New Car Smell", played on the only recognisably 'ethnic' instrument used in the score- a Chinese violin. Giacchino's use of scoring opposite of our expectations works here as it did with the destruction of the Kelvin in the opening scenes.
And in "To Boldly Go", the composer manages to 'stack' the old and the new themes together musically, making them a melded whole before breaking out into Courage's original theme in the closing credits.
All in all, the soundtrack 'fit' with the movie. There were uses of 'outside' music in the film, too, but these tracks were not included on the orchestral track, but are credited on the movie itself. The music served to amplify the overall emotional tone of the film, and give us something both familiar and brand-new at the same time.
While this soundtrack is simply the music from the movie, I can safely say (without giving away spoilers) that the sound design of this movie is one of the best I've heard in a very long time. The audio engineers take full advantage of the surround sound environment, and the sound has a dimensional vividness to it that ought to garner it an Oscar nod. Pay attention in the battle and bridge scenes- they sound very realistic.